Social compass: international review of sociology of religion vol:48 issue:1 pages:7-20
The authors present an overview of the main developments in Niklas Luhmann's approach to religion after the publication of Funktion der Religion (1977). Particular attention is given to Luhmann's definition of religion in terms of the distinction between the observable and the unobservable. This characterization corresponds to a highly specific view of religion as a functional subsystem within modern society. Religious communication, argues Luhmann, is distinguished from all other forms of communication because of its reference to the binary code of immanence/transcendence.